The Broncos hope that Peyton Manning will be the cure for Tebowmania. Though it’s unclear whether the fans will gladly welcome the change, the players seem to have been snapped out of the spell.
Running back Willis McGahee, one of the biggest beneficiaries of Denver’s run-based attack under Tebow, welcomes the move with open arms that may not be having a football tucked inside them quite as often.
“Basically, he can really take us to another level,” McGahee told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. ”We were young and I think those guys got the jitters out of them last year, even though we did go to the playoffs and represented the AFC West. It was a certain something that we were missing. We were missing that general to take charge in tough situations and I think he brings that to the table. And once those guys see him out there I think they’re going to rise to the occasion and just have a breakout year.”
Missing the general to take charge in tough situations? That was supposed to be Tebow’s strongest point — poise under pressure. Maybe McGahee and the other players realize that they need someone who, when the chips are down, won’t just step up his own game, but demand that everyone else finds a higher level, too.
McGahee thinks the Tebowmaniacs (that is, the ones who started out as Broncos fans) will agree. “Music to my ears, baby,” McGahee said. ”Music to my ears. I’m happy that he made a decision, he chose Denver. It’s a great place to play and the fans are going to really embrace him when he comes in. I think it just took our team to a whole ‘nother level with him saying he’s coming to Denver.”
That said, McGahee won’t be counting any incoming oversized craniums until they hatch. “I just got finished working out and my phone’s blowing up saying, ‘Denver’s getting Manning, Denver’s getting Manning,’” McGahee said. ”And I was just like, ‘Yeah, OK, I got to see it to believe it.’ And now you guys called me and told me what the good news was. So, you know, just happy right now.”
How happy Broncos and their fans will be later depends on how well Peyton can still play. Either way, the organization is thrilled because the fan base had a fever, and the only prescription was less Tebow.